The natural cosmetics market in the Middle East is growing steadily, albeit from a small base, thanks to an increasing awareness of synthetic ingredients.
This is despite political instability and social unrest, as revenues in the region will increase by approximately 20 per cent this year alone, according to a new report from specialist market research company Organic Monitor.
One of the main driving forces for the market growth is the consumer demand for ‘chemically-clean’ cosmetics. The report states that awareness of synthetic chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products is growing, leading to consumers purchasing natural products.
Likewise, product penetration is on the rise in pharmacies, beauty retailers and department stores.
In addition, high growth rates are also apparent because the market is growing from a small base; in the Middle East, natural cosmetics make up just 0.1 per cent of the market share.
In comparison, the market share for natural cosmetics products in Europe and North America is above three per cent.
Low adoption rates
Despite a sizable consumer market in the Middle Eastern region, adoption rates for natural cosmetics remain low as there is a lack of consumer awareness when compared to the overall market size. Growth is further hit by high product prices.
Difficulty in marketing natural cosmetics to consumers is also partly to blame for low adoption rates, Organic Monitor states.
High competition from ‘pseudo-natural brands’ in mainstream channels is also a major obstacle, as these products are often cheaper and supported by large marketing budgets.
However, within the small natural cosmetics market, the two brands which have emerged as market leaders are Neal’s Yard Remedies and Korres.
This is in part due to the distribution strategies as both brands have invested in concept stores, which enable interactions with consumers in order to familiarise their products and highlight the differences between natural and conventional cosmetics.